The 2014 French Open is less than a week away from taking place, which means it’s time to lock in your future bets. Nadal and Djokovic head into the tournament as overwhelming favorites, but besides those two juggernauts, there’s terrific value in other players looking to shine. After all, the Australian Open reminded us tennis fans that anything can happen.
Here are some of the longshots you should consider on the men’s side. Click here to check out some of the women's longshots as well.
Kei Nishikori – Nishikori is a young 24-year-old who is really starting to get some shine for his creative style of play. Nishikori is simply a shot maker due to his speed and incredible footwork, as there’s no ball he can’t get to, really frustrating his opponents who think they have put him away. While Nishikori is still young and hasn’t had any major success in Grand Slams, he did reach the fourth round of last year’s French Open before losing in three sets to Rafael Nadal. Nishikori does have four wins over Top-10 players this season, including beating David Ferrer twice. With odds of +2000, you really can’t go wrong with throwing a few dollars his way.
David Ferrer – Speaking off odds of +2000, it’s the price you can get Ferrer at most books. Yes, Ferrer, the same player who is currently ranked fifth in the world and made it to last year’s French Open before losing to Nadal. Ferrer has consistently been a Top 10 player for quite some time and is one of the hardest workers on the tour. He doesn’t mind marathon matches and always gives it all he has. Ferrer has also beaten Nadal the last two times they’ve played. There’s no better value than getting Ferrer at this price.
Gael Monflis – There may not be a more exciting player in all of tennis than Monflis. And while excitement isn’t going to put money in your pocket, Monflis did make the quarterfinals of the 2011 French Open before losing to Roger Federer. Monflis is a shot maker who can go from offense to defense in a flash. Monflis is also 2-1 against Stan Wawrinka, 3-1 against David Ferrer and 3-3 against Richard Gasquet. Monflis hasn’t had great success against Nadal or Novak Djokovic, but he’s a creative player who can get hot at the right moment. Odds of +10000 are worth a look for those feeling brave.
Stanislas Wawrinka – If you’re looking for a realistic winner with great odds, Wawrinka is the guy for you. Wawrinka won the Australian Open earlier this year and has had some success playing in the French Open, reaching at least the fourth round in four straight years, including the quarterfinals last season. Wawrinka is a player who has peaked at the older age of 29, and he’s a flat out competitor and creative shot maker. Wawrinka has only beaten Nadal once in his career and Djokovic once since 2007, but both of those wins have come this year. Odds of +600 are worth a few bucks to see if lightening can strike twice.
John Isner – The longest of long shots would be Isner, who hasn’t even made it out of the third round of the French Open in his career. However, Isner does have nine wins against Top 10 opponents in the last two years and is 2-1 against Wawrinka, 2-2 against Gasquet and an OK 2-5 against Djokovic when given the circumstances. Isner has the most powerful serve in all of tennis and has won 65 percent of his career tiebreaks. He isn’t going to break others serves very often, but his serve always gives him a fighting chance. Maybe this is just the American in me, but +15000 is well worth a Benjamin.